Flick in the doldrums

LETTER

On July 17 it was announced in this newspaper by the chief executive of our community-owned Eastland Group that the group had a strong year and was investing $60 million in our log port. The story did not mention how much was sunk buying shares in Flick Electric Company Ltd.

Back in June we were told in these columns, “spot prices have been high recently but the average Flick customer has experienced savings of nearly $500 a year, so a few extra dollars over a short period of winter is still going to see the customer better off in the long run”.

Well, it has not been a short period. Nor do I believe the average “nearly $500 a year saving” applies to average Gisborne consumers.

The reality is Flick’s charges have remained high and its customers are pulling the plug according to other news outlets. Our investment by Eastland Group (condoned by our community trustees) stood at $4.4 million mid-2016 but how much, potentially of our trust money, is it now? Later this month we have our community trust AGM. I think all beneficiaries of the trust (ECT) should know, through these columns, before the AGM, exactly how much has been spent on this investment in Flick.

Winston Moreton

Footnote from Ed: Eastland Group initially purchased 11.14 percent of Flick, which was increased during July/August 2016 to 18.66 percent — at which point the total investment by Eastland Group had risen to $5.05 million. The post-capital raising value of the company at that time was $30 million, so the value of Eastland Group’s investment then was $5.6 million. At that stage Flick had about 13,000 customers. By March 31, 2017 customer numbers had grown to 22,000.

Eastland Group has advised The Gisborne Herald that it will provide an update on its plans with Flick before the Eastland Community Trust annual general meeting, which is on August 16.

On July 17 it was announced in this newspaper by the chief executive of our community-owned Eastland Group that the group had a strong year and was investing $60 million in our log port. The story did not mention how much was sunk buying shares in Flick Electric Company Ltd.

Back in June we were told in these columns, “spot prices have been high recently but the average Flick customer has experienced savings of nearly $500 a year, so a few extra dollars over a short period of winter is still going to see the customer better off in the long run”.

Well, it has not been a short period. Nor do I believe the average “nearly $500 a year saving” applies to average Gisborne consumers.

The reality is Flick’s charges have remained high and its customers are pulling the plug according to other news outlets. Our investment by Eastland Group (condoned by our community trustees) stood at $4.4 million mid-2016 but how much, potentially of our trust money, is it now? Later this month we have our community trust AGM. I think all beneficiaries of the trust (ECT) should know, through these columns, before the AGM, exactly how much has been spent on this investment in Flick.

Winston Moreton

Footnote from Ed: Eastland Group initially purchased 11.14 percent of Flick, which was increased during July/August 2016 to 18.66 percent — at which point the total investment by Eastland Group had risen to $5.05 million. The post-capital raising value of the company at that time was $30 million, so the value of Eastland Group’s investment then was $5.6 million. At that stage Flick had about 13,000 customers. By March 31, 2017 customer numbers had grown to 22,000.

Eastland Group has advised The Gisborne Herald that it will provide an update on its plans with Flick before the Eastland Community Trust annual general meeting, which is on August 16.

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